Friday, July 13, 2007

I am now blogging at:

Hope to see you there. There is a lot going on!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Missing me? Remember--if you can tolerate reading about the rest of my life (is there life after knitting? Ha!), I'm very active here. Would love to be watched--lots of good stuff is happening there. Like what? Well...

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

I am not a worker bee.

I don't do things well if I have been given too many instructions about how to do them. I don't do things well if I'm being judged while my work is in process. Calm down: yes of course I can work, I'm just saying that supervised work never reaches the dizzy glory that things I do absolutely on my own do.

I started this knitblog because, well frankly I wanted some attention. In order to attract some attention, I joined various web rings with various rules about posting: how often, about what, yada yada yada blah blah blah. I was inspired by the truly great knitbloggers: Amelia, Eunny, Yarn Harlot, WendyKnits, Yarnstorm. I thought that maybe I could create an equally wonderful blog.

Now you patch the two paragraphs together. Having instructions about what to do on my blog--however scanty and however lightly enforced--killed my enthusiasm for it. The fact is, I am just a knitter, not a Knitter with a capital K, and the knitting content of my life is not enough to sustain a blog. I do lots of other wonderful things that you don't hear about. I'm a smashing good cook. I garden. I bake. I decorate my house. I stitch together quilt tops. Sometimes I sew by hand, or do a spot of embroidering. But all of that content got a big NO NO! from the webrings, so I've kept it off here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sewing, instead of knitting. Little emery strawberry pincushions. How sweet!

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Felt and cotton lawn, #3 pearl cotton, tiny seed beads.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Being Knitty In London

I am just back from two weeks in Copenhagen and London (it was only mostly work-related). I took a sock with me, but didn't knit a stitch the whole time. I simply had tooooooo much going on. I did take some knitting related pictures, though.

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The knitting group at Foyle's

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Old books about "worsted manufacture in England" in the King's Library, a new exhibit at the British Museum

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A brave KIPer on the London Underground

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Tea at Liberty, because knitting and tea just go together

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Liberty prints that are just too lovely to keep to myself

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

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Here is the first installment of Sundara Yarns' Petals Collection. As you see, it is Calla Lily. The picture doesn't do the yarn justice--it is absolutely lovely. It's all I can do to restrain myself from casting on straightaway, though I have four other socks to finish.

Update: make that only three other socks to finish. One pair of Old China socks, finis!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Big Knitting News!

I finished a sock!

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How's that for a plateful of cabley Koigu goodness? Mmm! This sock is positively scrumptious, and yes, I am going to knit a second one. I will call these my Old China socks, in honor of Charles Lamb. I had planned to call them my Delft socks, but really... I'm just not into Dutch pottery.

Stats: Knit of Koigu on two circular 2.25mm/US1 needles. Wrapped short-row heels and toes. Cuff pattern taken from "Sensational Knitted Socks" by Charlene Schurch, consist of 3x3 cables flanked with purl, separated by three columns of seed stitch. An awful lot of switching between knit and purl? Yep. An awful lot of tight, tiny cables? Yep. Worth it? Definitely.

Sorry for the lack of updates--there just hasn't been anything to say. My other active project is that little girls' short-sleeved sweater, which is just tons of stockinette. I decided that I had better make my first attempt at setting-in sleeves with it, instead of with Empire, and consequently Empire is on hold.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

How I Knit Socks

Here follows a detailed description of "my standard sock pattern." I cobbled it together from a lot of sources, using the heel and toe that I like best and the measurements that fit my foot and leg. These particular instructions describe my Soda Shoppe Socks, and so include instructions for the picot edge bind-off. More usually, I either do a couple inches of K2P2 ribbing and then use Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off, or I do K4P2 ribbing all the way up the leg and then use the sewn bind-off.

I knit my Soda Shoppe Socks using my own standard toe-up pattern. I use two circular needles, size 2.25 mm.

To cast on, I make a slip knot and put it around one needle. Then I wrap it around both needles, held together, twelve times. Then I pull one needle through the wraps, so it is hanging by the flexible part. With the other needle, I knit into those twelve loops. Turn the work, and using the other needle, knit into the twelve loops again. This is a version of the Figure-8 Cast On described on's toe-up sock tutorial, available on her own website and on Knitty. This method was also described in Interweave Knits sometime in the last year, and called the Turkish or Eastern European cast-on. If you do it Wendy's way, with a figure-8 instead of just straight wraps, you have to knit into the backs of the loops on one needle. If you just wrap the yarn around both needles, you don't.

I now have twelve stitches on each of my two circular needles. I begin to knit around, making one stitch (Elizabeth Zimmerman's way--the backward hitch) on each side of each needle, one stitch in, every row, until I have 24 stitches on each needle. So, on each needle, K1, M1, knit till last stitch, M1, K1.

When I have 24 stitches on each needle, I begin to do increase rows only every other row. This rounds the toe very nicely. I do the increase rows every other row until I have 32 stitches on each needle.

Now, I just knit the foot. For the Soda Shoppe Socks, I was very careful with how I handled the striping. I cast on the toes at the very beginning of a pink-and-white section--the one that comes right after the caramel-colored section. The toe increases took up the whole pink-and-white section and most of the dark brown section that follows it. I then knit the foot in the round past the next caramel-colored section and to the end of the plain white section that comes some time after it.

Then, I work the short-row heel on one needle, 32 stitches. I short-row down to 14 stitches, then work back up. At my tension, this took up a dark brown section, a pink-and-white section, and part of a plain white section.

When I am done with the short rows, I begin to knit in the round again, picking up one stitch at the beginning of each needle in order to close the holes that tend to form at the corners of the heels. I now have 33 stitches on each needle, 66 stitches total.

I then knit the leg through two more caramel-colored sections and the pink-and-white section right after, and one round in the dark brown section after that. To make the picots, I YO, K2tog around one round (to make this come out even, I transfer one stitch from one needle to the other, so I have 34 stitches on one and 32 on the other). Then continue knitting as normal, through the rest of the dark brown section and the pink one that comes after it.

Then, I bound off using a Chibi needle. I would sew through one stitch, sew through a stitch on the sock (count how many rows you have knit plain after the picot row; sew the stitch down to the row that is that many + 1 or 2 from the picot), and then sew through the stitch before that one, also on the sock. Then move on to the next, picking up the stitch from the knitting needle, sewing through its corresponding stitch on the sock, and then sewing through the previous stitch you sewed down. Doing this makes the sewing yarn loop around, which works extra length into it and makes the bind-off stretchy.
Am re-reading At Bertram's Hotel, for the parts where Miss Marple shops. On page 84, "Window shopping in the general sense did not interest Miss Marple, but she had a splendid time rounding up knitting patterns, new varieties of knitting wool, and suchlike delights."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I am so tired. Travel. Fear of flying. Fear of other people's driving. Fear of crazy big-city roads. Pathological difficulty sleeping with strange noises. Ergo, reliance on Tylenol PM. Tylenol PM hangovers. Long meetings. Late hours. Had 11 stitches taken out of my side this morning. Am glued together now, instead. Wash, rinse, repeat tomorrow. Today, a boring visitor who had to be handled. Car can't be fixed without replacing the computer. So I'm living without antilock brakes. Snatching a few precious, quiet moments at home to photograph two recent dye jobs:

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Left: Rose Pink and Kelly Green, very tiny amounts. Anemic? Maybe, but the colors also have a poisonous, chemical quality that intrigues me.
Right: I guess it was supposed to look like a garden. Purple flowers, green leaves, brown dirt. A success? Not really.

I'm crawling into bed now. Thank you for kind comments! The turquoise/tan/brown colorway is my personal favorite, so far.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Almost Warhol-esque... each skein of KnitPicks dye-your-own sock yarn re-wound to a larger diameter, then immersion-dyed in three jars. In most cases, the yarn was redistributed partway through so there wouldn't be white spots in between colors. RIT dye.

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1: Dark brown, fuchsia, and rose pink. Yarn not redistributed.
2: Cocoa brown, rose pink, turquoise.
3: Cocoa brown, turquoise, tan
4: Cocoa brown with some fuchsia, rose pink with some tan, and a tiny touch of tan.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I am dyeing more yarn, tee hee hee. I'm so naughty. I bought some RIT dye, so I am working with "real" colors this time. Today's hard lesson: the colors do lighten a bit after the yarn dries. Still, I'm getting some unspeakably precious results.

So here's my problem. I'm using KnitPicks dye-your-own sock yarn. It's 100% merino and knits into a really delicious, buttery fabric--that is totally NOT strong enough to use for socks. I've knit two pairs with Sock Garden yarn, and they pill something dreadful.

So, what can I do with 100g of hand-dyed, fingering-weight merino yarn? Lace scarves come to mind, as do gloves and maybe, if I could find a good pattern, baby sweaters. Anyone have a better idea?

And Skylar, yes the socks fit perfectly, and the extra yarn you sent me weighs 50g... hmm... sounds like a pair of footies, to me...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hey! Hey! Hey Hey Hey!
I've got two socks! I've got two socks!

My Sockapaloooza socks arrived in the mail! They're lacy, and they have picot edges, eeeee! See?

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SEE? I've got socks! Mine are from KnitKatGirl in sunny SoCal. Thank you so much! I love them!
Uh oh. Something very exciting is happening at SweetGeorgiaYarns. There was supposed to be a shop update this afternoon, and instead the website has been offline all afternoon. Poo. I wanted to try to snag some of the sock yarn. I suspect it exceeded its bandwidth... with the right marketing, those beautiful colorways could be as successful as Lorna's Laces, in my own opinion.

So I consoled myself by finishing a pair of socks:

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Yarn: Trekking XXL #107
Needles: 2.25mm
Pattern: Toe-up, Turkish cast on, Yo short-rown heels, plain vanilla except a bit of ribbing at the top.

I'm now starting another pair out of the Koigu I bought at PurlSoho in March. I already have a name for them. They're going to be soooooo wunnerful.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ohmygod! Waitaminute! I'm going to get socks out of this whole thing, too!

that hadn't occured to me, somehow...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

On the needles:

The mate of a Trekking XXL sock; turning the heel now
The short-sleeved sweater from Erika Knight's "Simple Knits for Little Cherubs." I started this yesterday, because I couldn't be bothered either to fix a mistake in Empire (gosh, that's going to be dreadful) or to continue turning that heel. I am knitting it in KnitPicks Shine Sport, color Crocus. Forgive no pix--I think your imagination can handle it. Go look at the yarn here:

Shine Sport

And the sweater. It is the lavender one, pictured twice in the top row.

It is knitting up at slightly larger than gauge, unfortunately, so though I cast on for the medium size I think I'd better follow the vertical measurements for the large size. I might have to order another ball of the yarn, because I'm only six inches into the back and the first is already wilting; I only have four. Bummer.

Put in an order with KnitPicks this morning. Four balls each of all three colors in the red/pink part of Palette, to make more of these little sweaters. Palette is supposed to be a true fingering-weight yarn, so I am hoping that it will knit to gauge and four will be enough. If not, I have to put my faith in the consistency of dyelot-to-dyelot in the modern world. I am thinking that I will knit the red into a sweater by itself, but I will tip the pinks with each other--just the cast-on and cast-off rows. I will almost certainly embroider a strawberry onto one of the sweaters. Here is the link to Palette, so you can see for yourself:


I am very much looking forward to finding darling little buttons, for the back neck closures. All in all, knitting for little children is the only thing I enjoy more than knitting for myself. It goes so fast.

I am knitting this sweater, I assume, for my own daughter--should I ever have one. Last night I had a big-time freak out about life in general and wondered if I shouldn't rip it all out, because what I'm knitting into this sweater (and feelings get caught up in knitting and in cooking, I do believe that) is uncertainty, rather than contentment. This morning though, with my head cleared out, I decided that knitting a sweater for a daughter now is not different from knitting one when I am married, because children are still not certain; not different from knitting one while pregnant, because one doesn't know that everything will go well; not even different from knitting one after the daughter is born, because who knows if she will refuse to wear it (what little girl in her right mind would refuse a pretty sweater knit in that pretty color, though...?) So, I am knitting on.

Here is a picture I forgot to post. The bunny hat I knit on commission:

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In response to comments, thank you! Positive reinforcement is a sweet, sweet thing.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Time for a great big knitting update, don't you think? I do.

First off, the big news: I have finished the Sockapaloooza socks! Woohoo! I didn't get into this week's update, but they are definitely done.

See? It's really a pair:

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An up-close of the stitch pattern:

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Statistics: Two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, not nearly used up, possibly enough left for a pair of footies. Size US1 / 2.25mm needles. Pattern, Mermaid Socks from Cool Socks Warm Feet.

Thoughts about the pattern: The overall effect of this pattern is stunning, and it is shockingly simple to memorize and to knit; it's really next door to plain old stockinette, in terms of mindlessness. It does involve YOs, though, so the resulting sock is rather lacy and open, just something to keep in mind if you think wool socks shouldn't have holes. Also, as Jaywalker knitters discovered before me, diagonal knitting doesn't stretch very much. I made these socks 66 stitches around the leg and 60 stitches around the foot, and they are very snug on my foot and ankle. I have to be careful getting them on and off. I think they will be perfect for my sock pal's slightly smaller feet, but if I knit this pattern for myself, I will do 72 around the leg and 66 around the foot.

Thoughts about the yarn: This was my virgin experience with Lorna's Laces. It is different from other nylon-enforced sock yarn because the wool content is merino. This makes a smoother, silkier yarn without the prickly "crunch" I so love in other sock yarns. The smoothness is quite charming, though, as are the colorways (and oy, do I have a lot of them stashed), so I will definitely be happy to use Lorna's Laces again in the future, both for myself and for others.

And I have one more knitting update. I am nearing the armhole decreases on the back of Empire:

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Isn't she a beaut? I just love this pattern. It has an awful lot of cabling in every single row, but one quickly understands the logic and rhythm behind it, and no longer has to watch the pattern very carefully. A quick check at the beginning of each row suffices. Also, I am Cabling Without A Cable Needle a la Wendy, which makes the whole process positively fast. I love this pattern. I feel so smart when I am knitting it. I am also madly in love with the seed stitch border, which is deliciously textured and cuddly and beautiful to boot; it reminds me of hobnail glassware, which I also love. I am having wistful ideas about knitting a blanket all in seed stitch... but then I come round and remember that knitting blankets can't possibly be fun.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Kool-Aid Experiment

With Spring come two of my atavistic urges.
1. Buy as many plants as possible (and kill them)
2. Dye stuff

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Here is this year's crop of dyed stuff, so far. Two hanks of KnitPicks sock yarn. On the left, 1/4 Lemon-Lime, 1/4 Pink Lemonade, and 1/2 Cherry with one packet of Black Cherry for depth. On the right, 1/2 Cherry and 1/2 Tropical Punch, tied in the center to leave white spots.

I am really impressed by the depth of reds and greens. The pink lemonade, as you may be able to tell, produces rather a sickly shade of pink.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I am closing the toe of the first sock:

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My sock pal's feet are a little shorter than my own, so I am hoping against hope that this will work out. I did follow the instructions, and began 1.5" short of the total foot length. (bites nails)

There, by the way, is the last of my Pepto-Bismol Pink Pedicure, from NY.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My sock yarn cabinet:

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The top shelf is more "oddments" than sock yarn, really. But, there you go. I call this stash "adequate;" it has enough variety that I can always find what I'm hankering after, but it isn't a Sock Yarn Stash Of Epic Proportions like the one Wendy just sent out piecemeal. Oh, and Wendy? I forgot to include my blog address in the petition for the Sock Yarn Group Home. Ho-de-hum.

Empire is progressing nicely; I am working on it in favor of tackling the toe of the first Mermaid sock. I just loooooooove Empire's pattern. It makes so much sense, and doing so many cables so deftly makes me feel smart. I am of course cabling without a cable needle; not sure I could do the sweater otherwise. Also, I have made two mistakes: one in the seed stitch border, of all things, which necessitated ripping out six rows, and one in the cabling that I was able to drop down and fix. Pix tomorrow maybe?